Street End

242/8 - 246/3
Full Time
40 overs
Lost by 7 wickets

Match Report

It is some 15 years since the Stragglers have lost more games in a season than won and since they had faced defeat in 7 matches (or more), but defeat at Street End removed any chance of a final victorious flourish to the season. Winning the toss and opting to bat, the Straggler innings was very much a three-course meal. The starter, barely qualifying as an amuse bouche, was of limited value and not at all amusing, mostly involving some frantic waving at the ball by Jonathan as if he was in the final overs of a T20 game. The Stragglers were 4 for 2 in the middle of the 6th over. However, the main course was a sumptuous feast of batting, not without its moments of jeopardy, including a display of ‘Wilscoops’, but it was remarkably effective and a pleasure to watch.  Skipper, George came out to join Will F, when Jonathan was cleaned up, and together they showed how to build a partnership. Rotating the strike, patiently defending good balls, scoring almost run for run, they put on fifty, then one hundred, both passed fifty, and were approaching centuries, when Will, who had been targeting the large chestnut inside the boundary, failed to lift one over mid-wicket and was caught for an excellent 95. The partnership had extended to 208 in 30 overs, not quite a record for the 3rd wicket, but getting the statisticians excited, and probably only the fourth double century partnership in Straggler history. Very shortly after the feast, came a collapsing soufflé. George reached his century, and when he was triggered for 105 in the penultimate over, the Stragglers managed a collapse of epic proportions as five wickets fell in seven balls. Such was the rapid rotation of batsman at the crease, that the Chairman was caught significantly under-prepared and fended off the final two balls of the innings wearing only one pad. The Stragglers had managed to decline from 233 for 3 to 242 for 8, Nick Wright and the Chairman surprising themselves by remaining undefeated.  The only others to score in double figures were ‘byes’ and ‘wides’, with 3 the next highest score from the bat!

In the field, the Stragglers went beyond terracotta, and, with three over-60s and a lame Harry Churchill, were beginning to resemble Jurassic Park. The defence began well enough, when Harry P induced a wild wave which looped gently in the direction of Will in the second over. However, this brought together the key pair for Street End, and they were not going to hang about, reaching 50 in the 9th over, and pressing hard on the pedal. George rang the changes at one end with limited effect, while Alec Boyd, playing his second Straggler game, began to slow the rate from the other. And it was Alec, who made the breakthrough, immediately after the drinks break, to have Paul Betts edge through to Dom Barnes behind the stumps for a regulation fast bowler’s catch – 160 for 2. An opening had been created, and pressure on the batsman was turned up a notch, as the rate slowed a little more. Mark BW was introduced to surprise the batsman as a reinvented spin bowler; the absence of pace was, indeed, very surprising, even for the Stragglers. However, it was not to be the Stragglers’ day, as balls beat the bat but did little more than shave the varnish from the off-stump, and those hit in the air fell just short of fielders or came straight out of the setting sun. Theo secured an LBW decision, and long-term Street End skipper, Sasha Azizi, managed to pull a hamstring running for a single which was barely there, but the Straggs were not going to pull it back by relying on the opposition all falling to injury at the crease. Matt Hopper reached his hundred and then deposited the ball in the field to make sure of victory in the 37th over. As always, games at Street End are a wonderful way to wind down the season, and we look forward to many more.


Street End
Street End, Canterbury CT4 5NP, United Kingdom